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How Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey developed a more engaged workforce

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Business Challenge

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ) employees have historically scored well on engagement surveys. However, the company’s leadership sought a new recognition platform that would recognize employees for their hard work and engagement in a transparent, enterprise-wide manner. They wanted to replace the company’s manual recognition program with a modern, automated approach that would:

  • Allow employees to send recognitions to each other, on a peer-to-peer level
  • Enable HR to use the data generated by the program to link recognition to business results like employee engagement
  • Appeal to today’s social media-savvy employees

Step It Up Employee Recognition Program

Horizon BCBSNJ partnered with Achievers to roll out its Step It Up Employee Recognition Program to its 5,000- plus employees, connecting a workforce that was spread over four geographic locations. The program saw over 90 percent of employees enrolled in the program. Utilization was also immediate, particularly among the company’s leadership team, who continue to be the most active set of users on the platform. Employees are also able to recognize one other going beyond the more common practice of only allowing managers to recognize direct reports. The majority of recognitions given and received are “Everyday Recognitions”: recognitions with no monetary rewards attached. Managers can then “boost” the recognitions or award points, as a further show of support for the employee’s behavior and to reinforce future behaviors.

Results

Since launching the program, Horizon BCBSNJ has seen a six percent bump in its overall engagement scores. This put it five percentage points above its target: the IBM benchmark of 70 percent. Furthermore, Horizon BCBSNJ has seen a 14 percent hike in engagement survey results related to recognition, which is particularly noteworthy when considering they went from below the IBM benchmark in this category to “Best in Class” in just three years. Horizon BCBSNJ currently has a 97 percent activation rate for its Step It Up Employee Recognition Program. In addition to everyday, peer-to-peer recognitions, Horizon BCBSNJ has found other ways to integrate the program into various company-wide promotions and celebrations.

Employees can now:

  • Earn points as part of the company’s onboarding process
  • Earn points as part of National Customer Service Week and National Compliance Week celebrations
  • Be recognized for reaching personal milestones and completing professional development or training courses
  • Receive recognition and points from the Chairman and CEO as part of its annual “Employee Thank You Day”
  • Participate in the company’s customer referral program

At Horizon BCBSNJ, the Step It Up Employee Recognition Program is much more than a way for employees to thank one other for good work or celebrate significant achievements or milestones. It is a key factor in reinforcing employee participation in company initiatives, and an unquestionable driver of employee engagement.

Perhaps more than anything else, it has proven to spread positivity within an already-engaged workforce.

Overview: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Since 1932, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has offered quality health insurance products and services to New Jersey families and businesses.

Horizon BCBSNJ succeeds based on their ability to deliver on their stated mission, known as, “Our Promise”:

  • To enrich the lives and health of our members and the communities we serve.
  • To provide peace of mind for those who depend on us.
  • To serve with excellence and dedication.

All which heavily depend on having a fully-engaged workforce.

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Achievers Insight

6%
6% increase in its overall engagement scores

14%
14% improvement in engagement survey results related to recognition

97%
97% activation rate for its Step It Up Employee Recognition Program